Blogging to Make Money: The Definitive Guide

exploring blogging business idea

Blogging is a wonderful idea to start an online business with almost no investment. If you are a student or homemaker or day job holder or anyone with basic computer skills, you can easily start a blogging from the comfort of your home.

The basic business model is, you will start a blog, attract traffic (visitors) and will monetize it to make money for you. It’s a legitimate and proud way to make money online.

Remember, everyone does not succeed at blogging as a business. Not to discourage you but to reveal you the realities of blogging world today. Don’t take a blogging decision in a hurry and regret it later.

Today in this post, I will walk you through every possible fact you must know before starting a blogging to make money.

At the end of this guide, you will be able to decide whether blogging is a right choice for you or not.

Excited? ……….. Let’s get started………

The basics of blogging?

You own some web space on the world wide web and publish some content on that space.The process of publishing regular content on your blog is called blogging.The content can be text, images, videos, infographics, podcasts etc.

Your blog’s published content is visible to anyone in the world with an internet connection. Search engines like Google, Bing etc can also read and index your content.You can hide your content with a password if you wish to do so.

The basic idea is you have some information or techniques or ideas that visitors are interested to read. You publish that content on your blog. Visitors will come and read your blog’s content.

For example, if you know some photography techniques or skills, you can teach them on your blog. If your content really delivers value or entertainment or something else to visitors, more and more people will visit your blog.This makes your blog popular and successful.

Once your blog attracts enough visitors, you have some techniques to make money from your blog. For example, you can place some advertisements on your blog or sell some products to your visitors that make you money. There are numerous legitimate ways of making money from your blog which I will share with you later on this blog.

What can be your blog’s content?

The content of your blog can be about anything that interests your visitors.There are not any restrictions about your blog’s content unless it offends or violates any statutory laws.You should never copy content from other blogs. (If you do, you will face copyright infringement)

The majority of content you read on the internet comes from blogs. In fact, Google pulls content from blogs and presents you in its search results. Blogs are becoming powerful day by day.

Here are some quick ideas to the content of a blog:

  • Weight loss tips
  • Nutritional information blog
  • Food recipes blog
  • Sharing personal experiences
  • Teaching English grammar
  • Photography tips
  • Technology tips
  • News related to any topic
  • Bible study tips
  • Blog about personal finance tips
  • The list goes on and on…………….

I will bring to you various blogging ideas with detailed statistics in the future posts. So, keep an eye on future posts or subscribe to the newsletter.

The benefits of blogging:

Well, if you happen to start a blogging either full time or part time and become successful, then the comforts and profits of blogging are pretty impressive.

Have a look at some of them:

  • You will work with flexibility:

You can work from anywhere in the world on any day of the week at any time of the day

You are the boss. So, you decide the schedule of your work.

You are the owner of your blogging business. So, you can do whatever you want with your business. None will restrict in any front.

In fact, once your blog becomes popular, you can provide employment to others like blog writers, web developers, moderators etc

Very proud feeling, right?

  • Sky’s the limit for your blogging income:

The income from blogging business has no limits.That said, if you manage to get millions of converting visitors, your annual income can touch millions of dollars.

Blogging income = Blog traffic x Conversion rate x income per each conversion

  • You just need to invest meager amount:

You don’t need much investment to start a blogging business.

You will need to pay for the following:

Your blog’s domain name: starts at 10 $/year

Hosting your blog files: starts at 3 $/month for a single domain

You can use free WordPress theme and free plugins if you are on a low budget.

Optional expenses:

1. Purchase a WordPress theme: starts at 39 $ one-time cost

2. Purchase premium plugins (cost depends on the type of plugin)

3.  Any other SEO or Blogging tools

  • You will become Popular and Influential:

Once your blog becomes successful, your name will be heard everywhere on the internet.You become influential in your niche. So, people will chase you to have interviews with you. Brands will try to approach you to advertise their products.

  • You will build a long-term sustainable business:

If you ever wanted to start a steady and long-term business, blogging is the best option. In fact, I have started my blog at 27 and I plan to blog even after retirement. This gives me some confidence that I can work from home even after retirement.

  • You will reap the benefit of Self Improvement:

You will become a better writer day after day. You will learn yourselves so many things like SEO, graphic designing, monetization strategies, business strategies etc

In fact, blogging has taught me one important thing: the hard work

  • You will build better relationships:

You will get loyal followers. You will advise and lead them as you interact with them on social media and blog commenting.You will build a better relationship with other bloggers, influencers, and brands in your niche.

How do blogs usually attract traffic:

Well, after creating a blog and publishing valuable content, the most important and challenging job of blogs is to find readers. In fact, the bread and butter of blogs is traffic because traffic converts into money.

Where do these readers actually come from?

This is a vital question to ask before you make your mind to start a blogging business.

Here is a list of sources blogs on the internet attract visitors from:

1. Search Engines (Dominantly Google):

The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo.Bing, Yandex, Duckduckgo etc. The #1 traffic source for any successful blog is Google.

After researching thousands of popular blogs for more than a year, I found that more than 60% of their traffic came from Google itself.

Felt difficult to believe me?

Let me show you a practical example.

Head over to Google and type “chicken recipes”.

Here is the screenshot of results:

The first result is from blog “”.

Now let’s see how much traffic this blog gets and where it actually comes from.

Head over to and paste the URL of the above blog and click Search.

Have a look at the results: traffic traffic sources

This blog receives 1.5 million visits/month out of which 78.74% is from search engines (Google).

About traffic from Google:

Organic traffic from search engines is FREE. Traffic from Google search is well targeted and converts into money. Google is the most valuable source of traffic to bring UNIQUE (new) visitors to your blog.

Every created blog does not receive traffic from Google.Google sends traffic to blogs based on their RANKINGS. Only high ranking blogs on Google get maximum traffic.

Blog’s that appear on the first page of Google results for a particular keyword query receive traffic for that keyword search volume. High keyword search volume brings high traffic. The first three results get lion’s share of traffic.

How does Google rank blogs?

Google ranks websites based on various factors (200 Google ranking factors). To get a quick idea, have a look at these most prominent factors among them.

  • The authority of your domain based on backlinks (links to your blog from external websites)
  • The quality and value your content delivers to searchers (content is king)
  • The relevance of your content to the queried keyword
  • The user experience of your blog (Do users love and engage with your blog?)
  • Does your blog serve the intent of users Google sends to your blog? Otherwise, they will bounce back by hitting the browser back button.

You need to learn and implement SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to receive search engine traffic.You will find various free blogs like Backlinko, Neilpatel etc to learn SEO.

The reality of traffic from Google:

You cannot expect traffic from Google overnight. New blogs don’t receive traffic from Google immediately after adding content. You need to make your blog authoritative by adding quality content and building authority backlinks over the course of time.

Once you are successful in gaining good rankings for your blog, you can sit back and enjoy the traffic and therefore money. Income from Google traffic is regarded as passive income. That said, you will work hard in the beginning to build your blog rankings and will enjoy the traffic and money rest of the time (passive).

#2. Social Media:

Social media traffic is a boon for new blogs. Unlike Google traffic, you don’t need much authority but just followers to get social media traffic to your blog.

If you publish interesting content, your blog posts have the potential to go viral by the power of social media shares. Content with great visuals works better for social media traffic.

The most prominent social media websites that bring traffic to blogs:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Whatsapp etc

Beginner bloggers usually generate traffic from Facebook groups and Pinterest boards.

You can also consider paid traffic from social networks if you have some advertising budget.

#3. Referral Traffic:

Referral traffic comes from other popular websites through backlinks.

For example, if your blog is featured on a popular Publication like New York Times, you will start receiving referral traffic from that website.

You need to network with influencers and other bloggers in your nice to gain enough backlinks for referral traffic.

#4. Direct traffic

People who directly visit your blog by your brand name. They can come directly either from typing your domain name in browser URL or from browser bookmarks or by entering your brand name in Google.

These visitors trust and love your blog as you have gained them over the course of time.

Direct traffic converts into money pretty well because your visitors trust you enough.

#5. Email traffic

Email traffic starts flowing in once you build your email list with enough subscribers.

You will start catching emails of your website visitors to make an email list.Then, you can send a quick overview of your blog posts to your email subscribers and enjoy email traffic.

It takes some time to build an email list of enough subscribers and therefore email traffic. It all depends on the performance of your blog.

Bloggers say, “The money is in the list”.

That said, you can use your email list to attract traffic and earn money from it.

Just like direct traffic, email traffic also converts very well into money because they trusted you enough to give you their emails.

#6. Paid traffic:

No need to explain much about it. Simply throw some money and get traffic.

The idea behind paid traffic is you will spend some money to get traffic to your blog. Then, you will convert that traffic to make some sales and will enjoy the return on your advertising investment.

Here are Some popular paid advertising options:

  • Google AdWords (both search and media ads)
  • Direct advertising on blogs(Buysellads)
  • Facebook ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • Reddit Ads
  • Quora Ads etc

How do you make money from your blog?

Well, you have built a blog, added some content and got some readers.

Now, the interesting question is “how do you make money from your blog?”

Fortunately, there are enough LEGITIMATE ways to convert your traffic into money.

Here are the real working ways to make money from your blog:

#1. Sell Affiliate Products :
#2. Sell your own products:
#3. Sell direct advertising
#4. Sell ads through Ad Networks
#5. Sell Amazon Products :
#6. Sell Sponsored Posts:
#7. Sell membership subscriptions:
#8. Write Paid Product Reviews:
#9. Sell freelancing services on your blog:
#10. Sell your consulting services on your blog:
#11. Sell Sponsored emails to your Subscribers:
#12. Accept Donations On Your Blog:
#13. Create niche blogs and sell them on Flippa:

Read in detail how each method works from here

How long does it take to make a decent income from blogging?

Blogging business is like building a beautiful house first and then enjoying the comforts again and again later.Just like building a nice house takes some time, so is the case with blogging business.

In the initial months, you will build your blog, create enough valuable content and will promote your content to get interested readers.Obviously, during this building time, you will get nil or meager income from your blog.

The actual time to make decent income depends on your work efficiency and competitiveness of your blog’s niche. If you choose low competition niche and work regularly to create useful content, your blog can make a decent income after the very first year.

Remember, it takes a few months to build a decent ranking authority to get Google search traffic.

If you can somehow manage to get enough social media traffic (from facebook groups, Pinterest boards etc), you can fill your pocket with blogging income in the very first month itself.

Have a look at some real-life examples to get a clear idea:

Example-1: A 3-year-old blog started in January 2015:

Kristin Larsen from blog has started her blog in January 2015 as a side hustle. She started earning from her blog just after 2 months. She earned $ 56.83 in March 2015.

She did not believe in the beginning that blogging can make real and legitimate earnings..

believe in a budge logo income information

Her blogging income in October 2015 has grown to $3634.28 after 10 months of starting her blog. This made her confident enough to quit her day job and make blogging a full-time career.

Here is a link to her first blogging income report.

Example-2: Latest blog started in June 2017:

Koni from started his blog in July 2017 and made $50 after the fourth month.

Here is his 4th-month income report. He got 4647 sessions in October 2017 which came dominantly from Pinterest.

I am not here to lie to you saying that blogging business can make you a millionaire quickly just to make a web hosting affiliate sale. But I am honestly showing you the realities of the blogging business. It takes time and effort to build your blog and convert it into a money-making machine.

The reality:

Getting traffic to new blogs is a BIG CHALLENGE nowadays.

But if you work properly to grab the opportunities, you can easily overcome this challenge.

Can Blogging be a full time or part-time business?

Blogging business does not generate revenue overnight. It takes months even years in some cases to earn your first dollar.You will improve your blog’s rankings over the period of months and years.

Don’t do the mistake of leaving your 9 to 5 job in hope of starting a full-time blogging career. Many teach on the internet that you can make millions with blogging. It’s true but it does not happen with every blogger that quickly.

My advice is first to try blogging business in the initial months as a side hustle. See for yourself what works and what does not. If you make a steady income from blogging which gives you enough confidence that you can leave your day job and blog full time, then only leave your day job.This keeps you financially safe even if you happen to fail at blogging.

So, start part time and make it a full-time career only after you get a sustainable income from blogging.

The present scenario of blogging:

“Build it, they will come to read” adage does not work in the present blogging scenario of 2018 and beyond.

In the past, it was not that difficult to get blog readers because there was less competition. But, nowadays you need to stand out from the crowd by showing your uniqueness.

Here is the present scenario:

Almost all topics are covered:

You will find no topic in any niche uncovered by blogs. You will find authoritative domains in almost all topics. You need to be unique in your own style to attract enough readership beating the competition.

Tons of legitimate monetization options:

Unlike in the past, you have so many legitimate and profitable monetization techniques to earn from your blog. Just get readers and they will get you money. No need to worry about how you will make money from your blog.

Difficult to get Google rankings:

If you happen to choose a competitive niche, you will have to compete with already established authoritative blogs. If you choose a low competitive niche, you will find few readers.

So, you need to wisely choose a niche topic with reasonable competition and enough readers.

After choosing the topic, you need to publish quality content that is better than that of your competition. Give some boost by gaining quality backlinks and social shares.

Power of Social Media traffic:

After evolution of social media networks, people spend crazy time on social media. The power of social shares can make your blog famous just in the matter of days.

Social media traffic is quick and comparatively easy to gain. If you adopt a right social media strategy, your blog can quickly become successful.

The difficulties of blogging:

You need to keep in mind one fact: “Every blog started on the Internet does not generate traffic and income”

You need to overcome some difficulties in the beginning.

You will actually face the following difficulties in the initial stages of the blogging business.

Generating traffic:

You will create your blog and will add awesome content but you will find it hard to attract some readers in the beginning.

Traffic from Google is almost nil for new blogs.You need to reach them wherever they hang out like facebook, Pinterest etc to gain initial readers.

Believe me, this is the blogging activity I hate most.

Initial hard working hours:

You need to sit in front of your computer hours together in the beginning to build, design, create content, get readers, think of monetization methods etc

These tasks take so many hours of your hard work before you become someone on the internet.

Link building:

To get effortless traffic and passive income, your blog needs to gain good rankings on Google. For that, you need backlinks from trustworthy domains in your niche.

You need to make some hard efforts like guest posting etc to build these backlinks.

Now It’s your turn, Can you start a blogging as a business?

Anyone can start a blogging business. You don’t need any approvals from any statutory bodies. You can start your blog right now if you wish to do so. But, it’s not a best-fit everyone.

After going through all the realities of blogging, now it’s your turn to decide whether to start such a business or not.

Don’t start a blogging as a business if you

  • Want to earn money online QUICKLY
  • Your Sole motto is to make money without working hard and delivering value
  • Hesitate to advise others on your blog
  • Are not passionate about any topic (Any hobby, studies, games, business etc)
  • Don’t have interest or time to learn new skills

If any of the above points are true in your case, you had better look for other online business ideas.

I hope you don’t fall into the above category. If yes,

Start a blogging business if you want to

    • build a long-term sustainable online business
    • Work from home/anywhere conveniently no matter how hard blogging feels to you
    • Earn passive income (build once and enjoy rest of the time)
    • If you have very low budget to start other online businesses
    • Become a solo entrepreneur over the course of time

Are you ready to start your blogging business now?

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